A craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor that may develop near the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. It occurs as a result of abnormal cell growth during embryonic development. These tumors most commonly occur in children between the ages of five and ten, although adults may be affected as well.
Symptoms of Craniopharyngioma
Patients with a craniopharyngioma may experience increased pressure on the brain, which as a result can cause headache, nausea, vomiting and balance problems. If the tumor grows and puts pressure on the pituitary gland, hormone production may be affected, which can produce its own set of symptoms. Vision problems may also develop as a result of pressure to the optic nerves.
In order to diagnose a craniopharyngioma, your doctor will perform a series of tests, including a CT scan or MRI, a comprehensive neurological examination including visual testing and endocrine evaluations in order to detect any hormone imbalances.
Treatment for Craniopharyngioma
Treatment for a craniopharyngioma usually involves surgery to remove the tumor, which may be performed with or without radiation therapy to ensure complete removal. Surgery may be approached via a craniotomy (open brain surgery) or through the nasal passage (transsphenoidal approach). Some tumors may be treated using stereotactic radiosurgery such as with CyberKnife or Gamma Knife. This method is non-invasive and avoids open brain surgery and associated risks. Although treatment of craniopharyngioma is effective for most patients, recurrence is possible and may require additional treatment. Dr. Lipani will discuss all your treatment options to help you make the most appropriate decision.
At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained neurosurgeon in New Jersey and specialist in the treatment for craniopharyngioma. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world as well as locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for craniopharyngioma. Dr. Lipani offers image guided brain surgery approaches and the latest in noninvasive radiosurgery procedures for craniopharyngioma treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art craniopharyngioma treatment, or to learn about CyberKnife radiosurgery, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!